The 5 Trends That Will Guide Your Content Marketing Plan for the Year Ahead

Content marketing has evolved a lot during the recent years. What once was a simple “Who can generate more content on a given topic” race has turned to a more complex race, where social media presence, ability to generate diversified content on different topics and connect with your audience using different platforms are all a part of the bigger picture.

2016 promises to get even more complex, where businesses will have to adapt to new technologies and look for new opportunities if they want to survive the competition. Here are 5 trends that will help you understand what your marketing plan should look like for 2016:

  1. Aggregated content will rule the web

If you were a company that had large quantities of high quality written content spread around the web, you would get a pretty large influence. Except that’s not how it works today.

With so much demand for variety, a combination of different content formats (images, videos, infographics, written word, etc.), social media presence, a professional social media bio and a large network that can help a brand reach a bigger audience across multiple platforms is what will dominate 2016.

Twitter is already doing it. Its Project Lightning feature will collect bits and pieces of UGC like images, videos posts and merge them together to form unique features and stories on the news and events that will take place in 2016. This might be a big threat in terms of customer reach via news channels.

  1. Google will force the production of long and detailed content

Google’s Knowledge Graph, which appears on the right side of a search term, provides instant answers when users search for a well-known person or subject. Siri is trying to do the same thing on your Iphone.

What this means for businesses is that this feature will practically remove the need for users to click on a search result on the web, because the Knowledge Graph already brings the answer right before their eyes. This will lead to website traffic decrease for many businesses, rendering their content useless.

In other words, if you want to keep up your traffic flowing, you will need to invest much more time into long, detailed forms of content and gradually refuse to generate shorter content. Marketing agencies like PatientSites and Kissmetrics are already doing that.

  1. Offline research will be back

While social media engagement will still be important to gain more customers, brands will have to do a bit more work than that to succeed. The power of information in consumers’ hands has reached a point where engaging with them online and collecting intelligence will not be enough anymore.

Why? Because with so much information already available to consumers, there is no need for them to talk to companies and brands online and tell about their problems: consumers can simply Google and find what they need, leaving brands with close to zero intelligence.

This is why connecting with people offline and capturing information real time and in big chunks will become a necessity for brands who want to expand their reach, whether they like it, have the budget and time for it, or not.

  1. The era of robots will dawn

Artificial intelligence is keeping up with the global innovative techs like never before. By now, every other person has read something on the web that was generated by a robotic algorithm and didn’t even notice the difference. This mainly concerns easy subjects like whether forecasts and sports news.

Writing a more complex content still requires a human’s touch, but it won’t take too long until robots overtake content production. Of course, we are talking about only huge corporations here that have almost unlimited resources to spare, but still the era of robots has dawned.

  1. Visual/Video will strengthen its dominance

Even though visual content is already skyrocketing, it will be even more dominant in 2016. With the WiFi and internet connection speeds continuing to increase fast, people will have more opportunities and a much easier time to post visual content, even on the go.

Written word content market is already overpopulated, which in turn, increases the demand for more visual and video. Finally, users are willing to spend less and less time to consume information that is relevant for them, and if there is one way to tell whatever you want in just 1-2 minutes online, its video/visual content, which again brings us to the point that visual is the way to go in 2016.

In a short summary, 2016 promises to be an interesting and demanding year. The quality of content will be more important than quantity (more than ever before), visual communication and content consumption will become top priority and there will also be a bit of “retro” marketing taking place. Stay sharp for different tech advancements, trend changes and welcome to 2016 guys.

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